Glossary of Terms

Accessibility – refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) – the nation’s premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services.

Built Environment – includes all of the physical parts of where we live and work (e.g., homes, buildings, streets, open spaces, and infrastructure). The built environment influences a person’s level of physical activity.

Caregiver – a family member or paid helper who regularly looks after a child or a sick, elderly, or individual with a disability.

Chronic Conditions – is a long-lasting condition (that may be preventable) that can be controlled but not cured.

Cultural Competencea set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals and enable that system, agency or those professions to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.

Disabilityan umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.

Disability Etiquettethe rules of etiquette and good manners for dealing with people with disabilities are generally the same as the rules for good etiquette in society.

Disability Models – models of disability provide a reference for society as programs and services, laws, regulations and structures are developed, which affect the lives of people living with a disability.

Disability and Health Data System (DHDS) – CDC data system providing state-level health and demographic data about adults with disabilities.

Health Care Access – the ability of individuals to access all aspects of health care services including health insurance, transportation, health provider building access, customer service accommodations, and health care service access

Health Disparity – preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.

Health Literacythe degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.

Health Promotionthe process of supporting people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behavior towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions.

The International Classification of Functioning (ICF) a classification of health and health-related domains from the World Health Organization

Learn the Signs. Act Early – a CDC campaign to help parents measure their children’s progress by monitoring how they play, learn, speak and act.

Patient and Family Centered Careapproaches to the planning, delivery and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among patients, families, and health care practitioners.

Reflective Learningthe process of internally examining and exploring an issue of concern, triggered by an experience, which creates and clarifies meaning in terms of self, and which results in a changed conceptual perspective.

Secondary Conditions– any additional physical or mental health condition that occurs as a result of having a primary health or disability condition

Social Determinants of Healththe conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels.

Universal Designa broad-spectrum of strategies meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities, and people with disabilities.

Visitability – refers to single-family or owner-occupied housing designed in such a way that it can be lived in or visited by people who have trouble with steps or who use wheelchairs or walkers.